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Abies hickelii ssp. hickelii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES PINACEAE

Scientific Name: Abies hickelii ssp. hickelii
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Hickel's Fir
Spanish Pinabete, Oyamel, Plumajillo de Montaña
Synonym(s):
Abies religiosa (Kunth) Schltdl. & Cham. subspecies hickelii (Flous & Gaussen) Strandby, K.I.Chr. & M.Sørensen
Taxonomic Notes:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-05-06
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P., Perez de la Rosa, J. & Rushforth, K.
Justification:

This taxon is known from a limited number of locations (data are insufficient to give an estimate of the number) and it is thought to be in continuous decline due to logging and general deforestation in the region. Its area of occupancy is certainly less than 500 km² (estimated at 80 km² but based on incomplete records) and it would thus qualify under criterion B2 for Endangered.

History:
1998 Vulnerable
1997 Vulnerable (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Endemic to Mexico: Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, and Veracruz.
Countries:
Native:
Mexico (Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A variety which is found in very low densities. The total population is decreasing and subpopulations are severely fragmented.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Both varieties of this species occur in high mountains of sub-tropical southern Mexico, at elevations between 2,500 m and 3,000 m a.s.l. The soils are of volcanic origin. The climate is cool, moist oceanic, with rain mostly in the winter. There are some pure stands at the highest elevations, but this species is usually mixed with highland pines, e.g. Pinus montezumae, P. pseudostrobus, P. ayacahuite, and P. patula, and also with Cupressus lusitanica and Quercus spp. Shrubs are e.g. Vaccinium spp., Andromeda spp., Ribes spp. and Fuchsia spp.

Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Hickel's Fir is a rare species and its two varieties occur in more or less disjunct, limited stands. Exploitation for timber is minor and its use is local, mainly worked in sawmills for domestic purposes. In cultivation it is extremely rare and limited to some dendrological collections in countries with mild climate, e.g. southern France.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Logging may have some impact on this taxon, but data to evaluate this quantitatively are lacking. For the 1998 Conifer Specialist Group assessment it was assumed that a 20% decline had occurred over the duration of three generations (about a century). Deforestation in the region is an ongoing process, which affects Abies as a late successional tree more than e.g. Pinus, so it is considered that the decline is continuing.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: More forest reserves with effective management and policing would be required to protect this variety from decline.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Abies hickelii ssp. hickelii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 December 2014.
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